This Philosophy course is taught by Davenant Teaching Fellow Colin Redemer, and will run from September 28 to December 11.
The great 20th-century philosophy philosopher Alfred North Whitehead once remarked, “The whole history of philosophy is but a series of footnotes to Plato.” Although not the first true philosopher (that title belongs perhaps to his mentor, Socrates), Plato was the first philosopher to leave us complete and mature written reflections on the nature of truth, being, goodness, knowledge, and beauty. The depth of his inquiries is matched by their literary qualities, with many of his dialogues still read widely for pleasure. For Christians, his significance is perhaps even greater: several of his works have important theological undercurrents, later developed and refined by his followers in the system known as neo-Platonism, which was to have a profound impact on the development of Christian philosophy. More than two millenia later, Plato’s philosophy remains a living force in contemporary philosophy and theology, with many significant debates relying heavily on Platonic categories.
In this course, based on close readings of Plato’s Republic, Meno, Crito, Apologia, Phaedo, and Euthyphro, and excerpts from later interpreters of Plato, the student will be introduced to just a few of the key themes in Plato’s thought, such as how we acquire true knowledge and virtue. Students will be encouraged to grapple with how the insights of Plato can and should continue to shape our understanding of the world and of the nature of the intellectual enterprise, and how these insights stand in fruitful tension with core Christian commitments.
Colin Redemer is an Adjunct Associate Professor at Saint Mary’s College of California and a Fellow of the Davenant Institute. He loves teaching on the intersection between History, Philosophy, Literature, and Christianity. His writing has appeared in the Englewood Review of Books, Evansville Review, Sojourners Magazine, The Federalist, and the Tampa Review.
Online only, runs 10 weeks, meeting 2 hrs./wk. via videoconference + online discussion board. Register to reserve your spot and schedule will be set after a poll of participating students; if the class time does not fit your schedule, you will be eligible for a full refund. Note: all classes are offered dependent on demand and require a minimum of four participating students.